June 2, 2016
Bloomington, IN – Centerstone, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit providers of behavioral healthcare, has been awarded a five-year, $9.7 million grant from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to implement a comprehensive evidence-based continuum of services to address the needs of fathers in six south-central Indiana counties.
Fatherhood engagement benefits children, individuals, and communities. Studies have shown a link between parental involvement and a decrease in negative behaviors in children. Children without involved fathers or who live apart from their fathers are twice as likely to drop out of school or abuse drugs and alcohol, more likely to become incarcerated, and three times more likely to live in poverty. The goal of the program is to help children by helping fathers and creating healthier environments.
Centerstone has identified barriers that prevent fathers from being involved in their children’s lives and will create a program to help fathers be better parents, partners, and providers. Recovery coaching, life skills training, and family wellness instruction will be provided to build interpersonal relationship skills and parenting skills. Employment coaching and individualized job development will be provided to increase economic mobility and help participants enter or reenter the job market in order to support their families. Centerstone will partner with community agencies and social services in a collaborative effort to support fathers and strengthen families.
“Research from places where fatherhood initiatives have been tried has shown important benefits for the child’s relationship with their father, and also a significant increase in child support payments,” said Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Gaal. “We look forward to working with Centerstone to support this important effort here in our own community.”
As part of this grant, Centerstone will target biological fathers, stepfathers, or expectant fathers in Bartholomew, Brown, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan, and Owen counties. Special consideration will be given to fathers who are past or present members of the military, young fathers between the ages of 16 and 24, or at-risk fathers who are low-income, TANF-eligible, or involved with the criminal justice system.
“We have a passionate team of people with years of experience in these fields that have put months of hard work into creating the best program possible to help fathers and families grow and succeed,” said Richard Kosmala, Program Manager. “We are looking forward to putting that planning into practice and we appreciate the invaluable support of our community partners.”